the (off center) Bulge

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Project by JL7 posted 12-28-2011 03:34 AM 4835 views 60 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Thanks to Scott (SASmith) for the inspiration here. This was glued up and set aside during “the coaster project” without considering adding the optical illusion.

Scott’s post was based on this design.

So I was sanding away on this Maple and Walnut end grain board and remembered Scott’s post on the “the bulge”.....

First realization was I have the wrong number of blocks, or more specifically, no center block…...oh well, went for it anyways, thinking that I could cut off a row on 2 sides…....decided to leave it as is…...the off center bulge…...

The last pic shows the mortising machine setup using a homehand router table fence to elevate the workpiece above the fence and other bits that obstruct the full depth of the machine…. At first I clamped every hole but it seemed like time stood still so ended up just eye-balling them and it turned out ok…..

The effect turned out pretty well, better than the photos may show. It seems that the farther away you are the more pronounced the effect…

Photos 1,4 and 5 with mineral oil.

This was a fun one….........thanks again Scott…......


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

40 comments so far

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3597 days

#1 posted 12-28-2011 03:38 AM

Awesome. Thanks for the mention.

I see you went with the book-matched endgrain too.
Did you use 1/4” mortises?
Are those cabinet door bumpers used as feet?
How big is it?

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View JL7's profile


8762 posts in 3575 days

#2 posted 12-28-2011 03:44 AM

Hey Scott – no problem….you responded so quick it’s as if you were just waiting for the post! :)

Cool design thought – I appreciate…...

Yes 1/4” mortise and the feet are little 3M bumpers I aquired that if you use a shallow forstner bit hole, they will push and lock into place….if that makes sense….?


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Dusty56's profile


11856 posts in 4298 days

#3 posted 12-28-2011 03:45 AM

It does appear that you have an extra outside row in two directions , but I wouldn’t touch a thing .
It is an awesome illusion , to say the least : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View cranesgonewild's profile


344 posts in 3518 days

#4 posted 12-28-2011 03:45 AM

After seeing Scott’s as well, I wanted to make this with squares as oppose to circles.
The effect is amazing.
I did notice the offset bulge right away, but it looks so cool, I’ll let this one slide.
What is the overall size?

-- I'm a Fungi --

View a1Jim's profile


117915 posts in 4187 days

#5 posted 12-28-2011 03:48 AM

This board turned out great ,it’s way cool.


View Betsy's profile


3393 posts in 4506 days

#6 posted 12-28-2011 03:51 AM

Looks good. This is one project on my to-do list.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4883 days

#7 posted 12-28-2011 03:52 AM

I really like this board. Wonderful work.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View JL7's profile


8762 posts in 3575 days

#8 posted 12-28-2011 03:59 AM

Overall size is 12-3/4” square, 1-1/4” thick. This is also the maximum my Shop Fox machine will mortise – and the final two holes were made without the depth stop, which sits proud of the two support rods that determine the throat depth….

Thanks for the comments!


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Doug's profile


1124 posts in 3371 days

#9 posted 12-28-2011 04:04 AM

That does strange things to my eyes. Very cool!

-- Doug

View Dave's profile


11434 posts in 3450 days

#10 posted 12-28-2011 06:32 AM

Hey Jeff man you had me staring at that thing for a solid 5 minutes. Good stuff. I asked my wife what do you notice about this. She saw the dots were not on all sides but did not notice the center. I like it. I was holding a straight edge up to and going wow they are straight lines.
I would cut my dang finger off if I used it.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View JL7's profile


8762 posts in 3575 days

#11 posted 12-28-2011 06:53 AM

Dave – I was pounding the square pegs into the holes and saw the lines bending before my eyes…....It was weird. The drilled holes alone won’t make the effect…it requires the contrast of color…......kinda cool science…...some people make a living figuring this out…...


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View derosa's profile


1597 posts in 3446 days

#12 posted 12-28-2011 07:51 AM

I have really got to try making one of these, the bulge shows up just fine without having a centerline. Looks great and hurts my eyes.

-- A posse ad esse

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3636 days

#13 posted 12-28-2011 09:46 AM

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3636 days

#14 posted 12-28-2011 09:49 AM

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4492 days

#15 posted 12-28-2011 03:18 PM

Yow. That is amazing.
And your routed handhold does not have any router burn. Good job.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

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